High Density Library - Expansion
Green Building Highlights
Approximately 4,500 square meters of storage and processing space was added to the existing high-performance storage facility, doubling its current capacity. Focused on using low-energy, advanced technologies to provide the tightly controlled environmental conditions required for the storage of UCalgary’s cultural and archival materials, this expansion allows the facility to accommodate more than 700 linear kilometres of archival materials or an additional four million-plus book volumes.
The strict humidity and temperature airflow requirements in this space would generally result in a larger energy impact. The project was challenged to find an optimal point that preserved the stored items and minimized the building’s energy usage. By using computational fluid dynamic modeling, architects could see how air would flow through the building and coordinate optimal places for air intake.
Not everything in the building was brand new; wherever possible furniture and equipment from the former MacKimmie Library Block was salvaged for reuse. Incorporating reused items, such as the static shelving used near the archival processing area, eliminated energy and raw material consumption associated with manufacturing, minimized the health impacts of off-gassing from building materials, and generated less waste to landfills and recycling facilities.
The north side of the building was adorned with windows to let daylight into the building. The added sunlight means that occupants often have access to adequate light without the need to turn on the electric interior lighting. The outdoor views and outdoor connections through these windows provides an improved work environment that supports staff wellness in the building.
Minimizing Construction Impacts
The excavation and landscaping work associated with building projects can impact surrounding sites and result in the loss of valuable topsoil if not controlled. This project incorporated silt fences to prevent rainwater from carrying exposed soils offsite, as well as a stabilized construction entrance to minimize mud tracking and dust associated with vehicle traffic to and from the site.